Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

22 November 2010

Written by: Sarah Green

So, the seventh Harry Potter film is finally here. True to form, it’s pulling in fans left, right and centre and hitting the big time at the box office.

Of course fans are busting to see this long-awaited film but, after all this time, can the Harry Potter franchise still pack a punch? Yes is the short answer but possibly not without a lot of background reading.

I have to admit, like many people I saw the splitting of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in two as an obvious cash cow for Warner Brothers.  After all, the Harry Potter films have grossed over four billion dollars, making it the highest grossing movie franchise of all time – who wouldn’t want draw that out as long as possible? My suspicion might still be true but after seeing the first of the Deathly Hallows films (Hp7 Part One as it’s now called), I can see why the split was also unavoidable. Even with the extra movie, the writers have still had to cut a few fair chunks of the plot.

I don’t want to be one of those ‘it wasn’t as good as the book’ moaners but really there was so many nuances and funny moments missing it was hard not to feel a little disappointed. For example, a classic moment in the book is Harry and the Dursleys parting for the final time. It’s both comic and telling as a scene which sums up the family history well. In the film, however, the moment is quickly brushed over.  Hmm maybe I am one of those annoying book purists after all…

Like most of the Harry Potter films, if you assess Deathly Hallows as a separate entity from the book then it really is quite well done. It sure has some spectacular special effects and the excellent lighting establishes the plot’s dark undercurrents well. Likewise, the cast are in good form and continue to grow into their parts, even if Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) was made up like a crack addict.

Verdict? Well, it’s a fun way to spend a (long) evening and loyal fans of the films will likely be satisfied with this latest installment. If, however, it’s the richness of J.K. Rowling’s work you’re after, best to give yourself a refresher on the book first.

Sarah Green is a Master of Global Communications student, a member of the upstart editorial team and a big fan of the Harry Potter series.